Global Leadership, Global Organization



Katharine E. Morgan

I’m thrilled that ASTM International is kicking off 2019 with the first European board chairman in our 120-year history. In addition to being a leader in understanding and developing testing equipment that characterizes materials for many products – from polymers to food products – Taco van der Maten is simply a wonderful person.

Our board, like our membership, includes experts from many countries. This makes sense because our standards are used throughout the world, and they are grounded in the World Trade Organization principles for standards development.

As Taco says in his interview, “The many multinationals based in Europe need to be able to talk to one another, and ASTM standards are the perfect language for that” and “ASTM International helps businesses, regulators, and other organizations around the world communicate with their customers and partners.” He’s exactly right.

In fact, in the last year alone, we’ve launched several formal partnerships that transcend borders in industries ranging from additive manufacturing (with partners in Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States) to cannabis (with partners in Canada, Europe, and the United States). Expect even more such announcements in 2019 and beyond.

Truly, our commitment to serving as one of the world’s leading developers of high quality, market-relevant standards has never been stronger. Consider these facts:

  • Our members hail from countries that collectively represent more than 90 percent of the global population
  • We hold memorandums of understanding with more than 110 national and regional standards bodies
  • About 80 non-U.S. countries cite ASTM standards roughly 8,000 times in laws, regulations, and elsewhere
  • Thousands of non-U.S. members attend committee meetings in person and online each year
  • We have hosted dozens of delegations at ASTM International’s global headquarters in recent years
  • Roughly half of our standards sales revenues come from outside the U.S.
  • We conduct trainings for dozens of non-U.S. groups involving hundreds of people every year
  • Laboratories from about 90 countries participate in our proficiency testing programs
  • We have international offices in Beijing, Brussels, Lima, and Ottawa

We will build on all of this and more.

For example, we have created region-specific outreach plans for key regions throughout the world. We are also more critically exploring our positioning of ASTM International in Asia given the diversity of its countries — their geography, demographics, and level of economic development. And, we are building strong relationships with global entities ranging from the United Nations to the World Bank.

Perhaps you have an idea for how we can continue to strengthen ASTM International’s global leadership in the months or years ahead. Our team — and our new board chairman — welcome your input as, together, we help our world work better.

Katharine E. Morgan
ASTM International President

Issue Month: 
January/February
Issue Year: 
2019